Every Wednesday night I attend a Pole Fitness class for 2 hours. It’s so much fun and I’ve been going for 2 years now.
I have, like in all things we do, strengths and weaknesses when it comes to pole. One of my major weaknesses is COMPARING MYSELF TO THE OTHER GIRLS.
In an environment where most other women are confidently showing off their bodies, performing the more difficult tricks and nailing choreography it’s easy for me to go from feeling great to crap depending on who walks in the room. I call it COMPARISON-ITIS.
But that’s not entirely true is it? I am the only one who can control how I feel, so why is it that some women trigger me and I set off on a self doubting and shaming spiral?
There is always going to be someone better than us, someone further along the road, and that’s what we have to remember.
You’ve heard the saying, don’t compare your chapter 1 to their chapter 20.
Well it’s true!
However, I don’t just do this at my pole dancing classes. I also do this with my writer life.
There are some women on Instagram around my age (perhaps a little older) with more followers, more engagement, and more content.
But as of today I’ve only CONSISTENTLY been active as an author for 2 weeks! (Shamless shoutout to my YouTube Channel!)
I’m not even at chapter one! I’m still in the drafting phase!! These women may have been active for years!!!
And yet I still compare myself to them.
In order for you to recognise a certain quality in someone, it must be part of your consciousness. Otherwise, you would not be able to see it.
English please, Imogen.
When you compare yourself to others you are looking into a mirror. You yourself are a mirror for others too.
When you look in a mirror you can only see what is already there, right? There being on your side of the mirror, your world, yourself, your being.
So, if the people around you are mirrors to you then you are seeing what is already there, on your side of the mirror, in your world, in your head, in yourself.
If you look at someone and think they’re beautiful, it’s because you, My Pretty (or Handsome for my male audience) are beautiful too.
If you think someone is really good at writing and posting to Instagram and engaging with people it’s because you, My Social Butterfly are all that too.
When I am comparing myself to others I am unconsciously seeing the same qualities and aspects of myself.
Now if you’re saying, ‘But, Imogen I’m NOT as good as them. They have 20 (insert something you want here) and I haven’t even got one!’
Let me ask you this:
- How long have they been doing it for?
- How much time can they spend each day/week on it?
When it comes to pole dancing the girls that I compare myself to can practice more than 2 hours a week (some even dance professionally). I can’t compete with that. I have other passions, hobbies and priorities that I need to prioritise over dance.
So of course I’m not going to be at their level! I was comparing my chapter 2 to their chapter 10! … and that’s not being fair on myself.
And when I compare myself to others on Instagram I’m putting my 2 weeks up against their years of practice and posting.
Comparing your beginning to their middle or end is how dreams die (most of the time – for some people it may compel them to work even harder). Being discouraged by someone else’s chapter 20 is perfectly normal, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing about this now, and I wouldn’t have had this conversation with 2 close friends in the last week.
Though it may be normal it is something we need to unpractice. It is something that we should flip at a moments notice, when we realise we are being victims of comparison-itis.
For the rest of your day try this:
When you see someone who you admire, envy, are jealous of, think is beautiful or something else = recognise that you are seeing that quality in that person because it is in you too. This goes for good AND not so good things (if someone is pushy and you are angered by that, perhaps you are being too pushy in areas of your own life).
Use the people around you to build yourself up. Don’t raise chapter 3’s, 10’s, 18’s or 30’s on a pedestal, because they were probably just like you at your chapter 1. Instead, realise that what you are seeing in them is something that is already inside of you. Bring it out into the light and shine (or, if it’s something that isn’t a positive quality, work on minimising it).
“You’re only at chapter 1. There are trials, tribulations and challenges ahead of you, so remember: the hero of your story is you and the hero always finds a way.” ~ Imogen Reed